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Case No. _____________

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Pursuant to Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and 49
U.S.C. 46110, The Academy of Model Aeronautics, Inc. (AMA) respectfully
petitions this Court for review of an order of the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) entitled Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, 79 Fed.
Reg. 36,172 (June 25, 2014) (the Order). A copy of the Order is attached as
Exhibit 1. This Petition is being timely filed with the Court within sixty days of
the issuance and effective date of the Order.
The AMA is the worlds largest model aircraft association, with more than
170,000 members in the United States from every walk of life, income level and


age group. Founded in 1936, the AMA is a self-supporting, non-profit community
based organization whose purpose is to promote development of model aviation as
a recognized sport and worthwhile recreational and educational activity. Model
aircraft hobbyists often take what they learn in their hobby and apply it to future
endeavors in aerospace and science fields that benefit the country. In 2011, for
example, the AMA was the recipient of the National Aeronautic Associations
Brewer Award for significant contributions of enduring value to aerospace
education in the United States.
The AMA itself operates a dedicated model aircraft flying facility located on
1,100 acres of its own land in Muncie, Indiana, and organizes, authorizes and/or
supervises over 2,000 model aircraft events and competitions at its own facility and
at others every year, including the National Aeromodeling Championships. The
AMA also provides educational outreach to teachers in math, science and
technology and awards scholarships and grants for students totaling $40,000 total
each year to foster study in aerospace engineering and other aviation-related
Model aircraft have long been used by the AMA and its members without
any aviation regulatory restrictions. Petitioner has standing to apply for review of
the Order because of its own and its members substantial interest in the agencys


new directive that purports to impose regulations and restrictions upon hobbyists
and recreational model aircraft operators that have never before applied.
The Order has been attached by the FAA to a new national enforcement
policy, effective July 14, 2014, and circulated to its employees nationwide. A copy
of this enforcement policy is attached as Exhibit 2.
Although AMA has worked cooperatively with the FAA in the past, and
hopes to continue to do so, the AMA brings this Petition for review, within 60 days
of issuance of the FAA Interpretation, by necessity, in order to assert its legal
As a result of the Order, the FAA has imposed, and will continue to impose,
direct and immediate hardship upon the very hobby itself, which has existed in the
United States for nearly 100 years, has never been subject to aviation regulations,
and which Congress mandated in 2012 the FAA not regulate. In addition, the
Order has disrupted the AMAs function of managing and leading the national
hobbyist community as a result of the purported regulatory impact on model
aircraft events, flying sites, and the AMAs Safety Code.
The 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, Pub. Law 112-95 (the 2012
Statute), urged the FAA to create new regulations for unmanned aircraft systems
pursuant to notice-and-comment rulemaking, but also created an exemption from


future regulation for model aircraft. The statute states in pertinent part that the
Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation
regarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft, if . . .
the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety
guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based
organization. Contrary to the 2012 Statute, the FAA Order purports to impose
new rules and regulations upon model aircraft hobbyists operating within the scope
of the AMAs programming, including but not limited to requirements of seeking
air traffic control clearance, restrictions on the use of first person view systems
to control model aircraft, and restrictions on the use of private property at low
altitudes (in non-navigable airspace) for aeromodeling activities.
The Order also purports to prohibit payments to persons conducting model
aircraft aerobatic demonstrations and to prohibit experienced members from
receiving payments for time spent teaching newcomers how to operate model
aircraft safely -- for recreational purposes -- in accordance with the AMAs Safety
Code. Model aircraft demonstrations, model aircraft research and development,
competition prizes, product reviews (with photographs of models in flight) and
product advertising, conducted by employees of companies in the industry, by the
AMA, or by hobbyists, have long been integral parts of the model aircraft hobby.


Prohibiting the use of a model aircraft in any way that is incidental to a business
threatens the very existence of the hobby, as well as AMA as an organization. In
this and other ways, the Order imposes a direct and immediate hardship upon the
AMA and upon its members, and directly contradicts the mandates of the 2012
As will be set out more specifically in briefing that will follow, the Order is
arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with
law, in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, and without
observance of procedure required by law. This Petition should be granted, and the
Order should be set aside, vacated, and/or reversed.

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Brendan M. Schulman
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Eric A. Tirschwell
1177 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Tel: (212)715-9100
Fax: (212) 715-8220
Attorneys for Petitioners